The City of Somerville is at a critical crossroad. Our community has become incredibly attractive to real estate developers because of the demand for residential housing. This creates both opportunity and danger. The opportunity is that it can transform substandard property, vacant land, or abandoned industrial uses to developments that can improve the neighborhood and provide quality and affordable housing. The risk is that we end up with tall and dense buildings that are out of character with the neighborhood. These adversely effect the neighborhoods that they are located in and drive long-term residents out. This, in turn, adversely effects the quality of city and we become more and more transient with less children in our schools and fewer folks who care or even know their neighbors. Because this is a strong concern of mine, I have been pressing for the City to review and reexamine its current zoning that permits high and dense developments that border residential neighborhoods. Because of these concerns, I opposed a number of provisions of the new proposed zoning that was submitted to the Board of Aldermen in early 2014.
At the same time, I have been pushing for large scale commercial development in appropriate areas such as Assembly Square and the Inner Belt, promoting office buildings and research and development projects that will bring good jobs to the community and help reduce the tax burden on Somerville home owners. I am supported a zoning change that allows a large research and development project to be built at North Point. Developments such as this would bring jobs to our City and help homeowners. I would be very interested in feed back from residents.